Restaurant Owners React to Caterpillar's Move

Some say they too might have to leave the city

PEORIA - The departure of Caterpillar's global headquarters along with about 100 employees is leaving some local business owners in shock.

"You better be looking, you better have a plan B."

Plan B could start soon for owners of Two 25 in Peoria, especially after Caterpillar's global headquarters leaves town.

"You move to an area that you're going to be able to support and is going to support you, so if downtown can't support it, we have to move out of downtown,” said co-owner, Phil Caplis.

He says his restaurant is packed with Cat execs almost every day for lunch and dinner. They say the move will take that business away and hurt downtown businesses, but not everybody feels the same.

"I can't say that I'm not disappointed in it, but I think when one door closes, another opens,” said Sean Kenny, owner of Kenny's Westside Pub.

Kenny recently moved his restaurant downtown from Farmington Road, and also serves Cat workers.  He says he feels confident about his business.

"I'm actually happy that most of the manufacturing jobs are staying around here, and I think that's really important,” Kenny said.

Some are wondering exactly how long those jobs will stay in Peoria. The company's broken promise two years ago isn't sitting well with many who rely on the manufacturer.

"You don't know if they're staying, and I wouldn't count on that, the state needs to get their act together and our politicians need to work together,” Caplis said.

Business owners are calling on local leaders to bring another big business downtown.

"Those are the young people that are going to move into down and support it and when that's in question and suspect, that can go away quickly,” Caplis said. 


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